Dianella (plant)

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This article is about the genus of flowering plants. For genus of beetles, see Dianella (beetle).
Dianella
Dianella flowers.jpg
Dianella sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily: Hemerocallidoideae
Genus: Dianella
Lamarck ex. A.L. Jussieu
Type species
Dianella ensata
( Thunberg) R.J.F. Henderson
Species

See text.

Dianella is a monocot genus of flowering plants.[1] They are commonly called flax lilies.

In the APG II system of plant classification, Dianella was placed in the family Hemerocallidaceae. When that system was replaced by APG III in 2009, Hemerocallidaceae was combined with two other families to form a larger version of Xanthorrhoeaceae.[2]

Dianella ranges from Japan to India, thence south to Australia and New Zealand; also occurring on many Pacific Islands. About half of the species are native to Australia.[3] Several species are grown for their attractive foliage and shiny, blue to purple berries.[4] Estimates of the number of species range from 20[1] to more than 40.[5] The type species for the genus is Dianella ensata,[6] now a synonym of Dianella ensifolia.[7]

Dianella is not well understood taxonomically and is in much need of revision. It is closely related to Thelionema and Herpolirion.[8] Not all taxonomists recognize the genus. In one paper on the classification of Xanthorrhoeaceae, Dianella and six other genera were subsumed in the genus Phormium.

Description[edit]

Characteristics:

  • Underground rhizome
  • Long, strappy leaves up to 1 meter long, ranging from deep to pale green, to blue-green
  • Blue flowers in spring, with 3 petals, 3 sepals, and prominent yellow stamens
  • Shiny blue to purple berries up to 1.5 centimeters in diameter, spherical or elongated with spongy pulp and shiny black seeds
Dianella 'Sea Breeze'

Species[edit]

As of May 2012, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families recognizes 41 species:[5]

Australian species (incomplete)[edit]

New Zealand species (incomplete)[edit]

Uses[edit]

Some species can be cultivated. They are frost-hardy and grow in full sun or partial shade. They can be propagated by division of the rhizome. Some plants have dense, attractive foliage and showy flowers and fruits.

Reports of the edibility of the fruit range from very poisonous[11][12] to sweet and nutty (such as D. caerulea),[13] and the beach flax lily (D. congesta) is reportedly the best-tasting.[9]

The leaves were used to weave dillies and baskets by Australian aboriginals.[9]

History[edit]

The genus name Dianella was published by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1786 in his Encyclopédie Méthodique. Botanique,[14] but this did not validly establish the botanical name because Lamarck did not include a description of the new genus.[15] Antoine Laurent de Jussieu made it a correct name in 1789 when he published a description in the first edition of his Genera Plantarum.[16][17] In an etymology of this name, Umberto Quattrocchi states that Dianella is "diminutive of Diana, the mythical goddess of hunting, the sylvan goddess.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b H. Trevor Clifford, Rodney J.F. Henderson, and John G. Conran. 1998. "Hemerocallidaceae" pages 245-253. In: Klaus Kubitzki (editor). 1998. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume III. Springer-Verlag: Berlin;Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-3-540-64060-8
  2. ^ Mark W. Chase, James L. Reveal, and Michael F. Fay. "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161(2):132–136.
  3. ^ Starting out with Natives, John Wriggley & Murray Fagg
  4. ^ Anthony Huxley, Mark Griffiths, and Margot Levy (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. The Macmillan Press,Limited: London. The Stockton Press: New York. ISBN 978-0-333-47494-5 (set).
  5. ^ a b c Search for "Dianella", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-05-25 
  6. ^ Dianella In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  7. ^ "Dianella ensata", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-05-25 
  8. ^ Dion S. Devey, Ilia Leitch, Paula J. Rudall, J. Chris Pires, Yohan Pillon, and Mark W. Chase. "Systematics of Xanthorrhoeaceae sensu lato, with an emphasis on Bulbine". Aliso 22(Monocots: Comparative Biology and Evolution):345-351. ISSN 0065-6275.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Wild food plants of Australia, Tim Low
  10. ^ "Dianella brevicaulis". FloraBase. Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Western Australia. 
  11. ^ http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/112796/garden-plants-poisonous-to-people.pdf, page 8
  12. ^ http://www.alpaca.asn.au/docs/about/husbandry/poison_plants.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/plant_info/aboriginal_bush_foods
  14. ^ Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. 1786. Encyclopédie Méthodique: Botanique. 2:176 (See External links below).
  15. ^ Rodney J.F. Henderson. 1977. Typification of Dianella Lam. ex Juss. (Liliaceae). Taxon 26(1):131-137.
  16. ^ Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1789), Genera Plantarum, Paris: Herrisant and Barrois, p. 41  (See External links" below)
  17. ^ Dianella in International Plant Names Index. (see External links below).
  18. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi. 2000. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names volume II. CRC Press: Boca Raton; New York; Washington,DC;, USA. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-8493-2676-9 (vol. II). (see External links below).

External links[edit]